On Sunday, March 18th, I preached on Jesus Feeding the 5,000 from Mark’s Gospel. One of the main things I proposed is that reason and logic are limited, and that they are even presented as a contrast to Faith. Obviously, Faith and Reason can go together but we often put reason above faith, just as some put emotion above faith. The disciples did the math and realized how much work it would take to pay for food for a crowd of that size. The answer, though, was found in trusting Jesus, not the math or thinking ability, but in their “believing” ability.
Math won’t help you explain the Trinity. Physics won’t help you explain how God’s Spirit works. Biology won’t explain how God’s Spirit dwells inside of you.
At Tulsa I heard some great sermons about Faith and Risk (not the board game) and about passionately living for Christ.
I had some great conversations about the Holy Spirit and the limitations of science. I heard testimonies of people overcoming by the power of the Spirit and seeking to be led by the Spirit without blandly explaining away all the many (really, lots) of scriptures in the New Testament about the Spirit.
I had a neat discussion about spiritual warfare/spirits and God’s presence/communication at a Chinese restaurant on Friday. I mention it was Chinese food because my fortune cookie “fortune” gave me chills and stopped me in my tracks. It connected about three things we had been discussing AND what was in my heart.
One week after preaching on faith over reason, I heard a great sermon by Terry Rush. He talked about how we miss what God is doing because we are looking for patterns. He said, “the only pattern is that there is no pattern.” We assume He will do what He has always done in the same way. Then he proceeded to survey many events in Luke’s gospel where God and Jesus shocked and surprised people with their stories and actions.
I then had time to kill and “ended up” at a hip, emerging assembly and heard another good lesson about “Why I don’t always feel God’s Presence.” A very balanced and Biblical sermon that grounded, but in no way contradicted, everything else I had heard and thought during the week.
So, What is God doing? What’s next? Will I fall back into the slavery of my to-do list and forget to listen for his voice? Will I become overwhelmed with the burden of ministry and wait till Tulsa 2013 before responding to God by Faith?
Two years ago I enjoyed meeting Ed Fudge at Tulsa and then read his book, “The Sound of His Voice.” Then I came home and it was business as usual.
About 5 years ago, after finishing a research paper on the Holy Spirit and praying about it, my past finally caught up with my present as I crashed and burned. It was a turning point in my life. I was side-tracked and needed to be redirected.
I believe God orchestrated my past week, but what will I do with it? Will I be hoping for change after Tulsa next year? 5 years from now, will I still be at the same plateau in my walk with God?
And not to be so self-centered, what about you?